From Volume 82, Number 3 (March 2009)
Because Kid Nation was the first reality show to feature minors exclusively, it provides a fitting springboard from which to evaluate whether reality children in general are covered by the FLSA’s child labor provisions. Although FLSA coverage must be determined on a case-by- case basis, a discussion of Kid Nation, and of reality television in general, will illuminate relevant characteristics of the genre and help guide future analysis of this issue. Given the untempered success and growth of reality television, it is unlikely that Kid Nation will be the last program to utilize the services of children. Again, a determination of FLSA coverage will hinge on three questions: (1) Are the children performing work?; (2) Are the children employees?; and (3) Are the children exempt as actors or performers?